Make sure that you have not missed a key development in your area of the law by reading our In brief review of the latest Practical Law Local Government email.
Adult social services:
- The Welsh Government has published a consultation seeking views on phase one implementation of the Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act 2016.
- The EU referendum result has been announced, with a majority of voters (52%) deciding that the UK should not remain in the EU. The New Settlement for the United Kingdom within the European Union that was agreed with the European Council and UK Prime Minister David Cameron on 19 February 2016 and was subject to the outcome of this referendum will now not take effect and ceases to exist.
- The High Court has concluded that local authorities can apply for an extension of a supervision order after the original order has expired (A Local Authority v D and others).
- The Family Court has declared that the inordinate delay of a local authority and an independent reviewing officer in issuing care proceedings has breached the Article 6 and 8 rights of the children and mother in question under the European Convention on Human Rights (Re X, Y and Z (Damages: Inordinate Delay in Issuing Proceedings)).
- The Advocate General has handed down his opinion to the ECJ on the Irish Supreme Court’s request for a preliminary ruling on the transfer of care proceedings under Article 15 of Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 (Child and Family Agency v JD (AG’s Opinion)).
- The House of Commons Justice Select Committee has published a report which considers government changes to fees for court users in the civil and family courts and tribunals.
- The Court of Appeal has ordered a re-trial of proceedings to enforce an alleged oral agreement, describing deficiencies in the judgment as so serious that it could not stand. The decision reinforces the importance of an adequately reasoned judgment addressing the essential questions, especially where oral evidence is key and witness credibility is disputed (Harb v HRH Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz).
- The High Court has:
- refused to set aside an order allowing a claimant to amend a claim form so as to re-name the defendant (Maman v Certain Lloyd’s Underwriters Subscribing to Policy Number DCAL /08230); and
- confirmed that a claimant who was entitled to recover contractual interest, as well as the sum due in relation to a claim and had obtained a judgment as advantageous as its Part 36 offer, was entitled under CPR 36.17(4)(d) to an additional 10% on the interest awarded, as well as on the principal sum (Bolt Burdon v Tariq and others).
- The House of Commons Justice Committee has published its review into fees charged by courts and tribunals. The report includes a recommendation that the current level of employment tribunal fees should be substantially reduced.
- The human rights organisation Justice has produced guidance co-authored by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer to assist third party interveners in High Court and Court of Appeal cases to ensure that they always add value to the court’s deliberations and are not at risk of being penalised in costs.
- The Court of Appeal has held that a clause requiring contract variations to be in writing and signed did not prevent a valid variation by oral agreement (MWB Business Exchange Centres Ltd v Rock Advertising Ltd).
Employment and pensions:
- The Supreme Court has held that two Nigerian employees, whose employers treated them badly because of their status as vulnerable domestic migrant workers, did not suffer direct or indirect race discrimination (Taiwo v Olaigbe and another; Onu v Akwiwu and another).
- The Court of Appeal has:
- upheld the previous decisions of an employment tribunal and the EAT that a tribunal has no power to stay equal pay proceedings indefinitely in order to require the claimants to issue their claims in the High Court (Asda Stores Ltd v Brierley and others); and
- held that a university student can bring a discrimination claim in the employment tribunal directly against the provider of a work placement where they have suffered discrimination by the provider during the placement (Blackwood v Birmingham & Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust).
- The EAT has confirmed that the Acas Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures only applies to dismissals where there is “culpable conduct”, whether in the form of misconduct or poor performance, which either requires correction or punishment (Holmes v Qinetiq).
- The High Court has ruled on a HMRC ruling given in September 2009, which stated that the regulation layer at a particular landfill site would not be subject to landfill tax (R (Biffa Waste Services Ltd) v Revenue and Customs).
- The government has published updated fly-tipping guidance for local authorities in England.
FOI and data protection:
- The Article 29 Working Party has issued an opinion on publishing personal data for transparency purposes in the public sector. It explains how to apply the data protection principles in the Data Protection Directive and General Data Protection Regulation in this context, particularly as regards anti-corruption measures and conflicts of interest.
- Changes have reportedly been agreed to the proposed Privacy Shield for EU-US personal data transfers. The changes address EU concerns about the adequacy of the arrangements proposed in Privacy Shield texts published in February 2016.
- The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper on empty dwelling management orders.
Local government law:
- The Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 (Commencement No 8 and Commencement No 7, Transitional Provisions and Savings (Amendment)) Order 2016 has been made.
- The High Court has dismissed an application for judicial review of the London Borough of Haringey’s decision to hire a council-owned park for a licensed music festival (R (The Friends of Finsbury Park) v Haringey London Borough Council and others).
Property and planning:
- The Law Society has published guidance notes to accompany the revised CON29 and CON29O forms that must be used from 4 July 2016.
- The General Court has dismissed an appeal by a bidder against a decision of the European Office of Intellectual Property to award a procurement contract for the supply and installation of furniture and signage to another bidder (Steelcase SA v EUOIP).
- The Advocate General has delivered an opinion stating that Article 5(1) of Regulation (EC) 1370/2007 on public passenger transport services, by rail and road, must be interpreted as meaning that a bus services contract (which is not a concession contract), is subject to the rules on subcontracting in Article 4(7) of the Regulation (Hormann Reisen GmbH v Stadt Augsburg, Landkreis Augsburg (AG’s Opinion)).
- The Crown Commercial Service has published Procurement Policy Note (PPN) 06/16: Armed Forces Covenant. The PPN applies to central government, executive agencies and NDPBs. The Armed Forces Covenant is a public sector pledge from government, businesses, charities and organisations to demonstrate their support for the armed forces community.
Regulation and enforcement:
- A construction company has been fined a total of £550,000 after pleading guilty to two counts of corporate manslaughter and a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 following the deaths of two passersby.
- The Health and Safety Executive has announced that a company manufacturing rubber sealants has been prosecuted after a worker contracted allergic contact dermatitis after being exposed to sensitising ingredients in rubber compounds.
- 33 different UK agencies have been involved in a co-ordinated operation led by the National Crime Agency to tackle criminals involved in trafficking and exploitation offences.